Virtual reality is finally starting to arrive in the consumer world in more affordable packages, both for consumption and production. We first reported on the Vuze 3D VR camera back at CES 2016 and were impressed with its capabilities, as well as its expected price of just $1,000.
HumanEyes Technologies, the computer vision company behind the Vuze, announced the point-and-shoot camera will be even less expensive. It’s available for pre-order starting on May 12, for just $799 – about $200 cheaper than the original price of $1,000, and just 3 percent of the cost of Facebook’s $30,000 Surround 360 VR camera. This makes the Vuze one of the most affordable 3D VR cameras on the market, and the most affordable 360-degree 3D VR camera to date.
There are plenty of 360-degree cameras on the market these days, many of which claim to be VR capable, and are priced less than the Vuze. But that is not the whole story here: The 3D part of the Vuze camera is what sets it apart from those cheaper alternatives. A standard 360-degree camera without that 3D functionality produces an image that appears flat, without depth. This is not ideal for VR because it takes you out of the immersion.
The Vuze creates that 3D capability, which means its output images (or video) have depth perception to them, and this makes for a much more enjoyable VR viewing experience (or so we assume). Of course, comparing it to the Surround 360 VR camera is like comparing apples to oranges. Could a sub-$1,000 camera match one that costs several times more? That remains to be seen, as the low price is bound to draw suspicion.
The $799 cost is a special pre-order pricing, so it looks like the price will likely go back up to that original $1,000 MSRP once the Vuze starts shipping later this year. Included in the pre-order kit is everything you could possibly need to take advantage of the Vuze’s 3D VR capabilities, like a VR headset, a Vuze specific “selfie stick” and tripod, as well as a carrying case and a newly designed handle to make carrying the Vuze more convenient.
It is also worth noting that in order to lock in this package and price you have to register your pre-order, including providing payment information. HumanEyes notes that no payments will be processed until the units start shipping in the fall. Interested individuals can find out more and pre-order the Vuze via their website.